|The great Hunter nerf of 2008
We knew this week was off to a rousing start when our mailbox began filling up with "ZOMG!!11! Hunter nerf!!1!" e-mails. Just how big a nerf it was began to sink in when Adam Holisky capped his post on the topic with the image of a face that has launched a thousand QQs. "Oh boy, you guys broke out the mad baby pic!" exclaimed InsaneAssault. "This is serious business. Haven't seen that guy since the honor carryover article."
Even those who weren't familiar with Mad Baby realized the gravity of his presence. "Where is the mad baby picture from originally? Does anyone know what happened to that kid?" wondered Frijona. Who nerfed that poor Mad Baby? Readers suggested a few theories – but we'll leave it to you to dig those theories out of the comments for yourself.
|Ghostcrawler: If you're 80, you're hardcore
Things have been fast and easy around here this week – in fact, some say Wrath is simply too fast and easy. But not everyone agrees. Galkuros spoke for many when he noted, "With TBC, endgame content was but a dream to me as I worked my way toward 70. No one on my server ever even downed a boss in Sunwell, and very few downed bosses in the raids leading up to that.
"With the changes Blizzard has brought with the expansion, I'm excited to get to 80 so I can experience the endgame content without devoting days on end to playing WoW (something my soon-to-be wife would not be happy with at all)."
In still more analysis of the relative ease of Wrath's five-man content, several readers astutely observed that EZ-mode playstyles don't always mean an easier time for the whole party. "It seems they have made tanking and DPSing a lot more laid-back than it used to be," wrote Camaris. "You can AoE tank, and even melee can now do AoE attacks.
"But healing, if anything, has become more hectic than TBC. I need to keep up Beacons, Shields and Judgments and have to heal massive AoE damage in quite a few instances. I've run instances as Retri and as Holy, and I have to say that there's a massive gap in the focus required. Loken is hands down my least favorite boss as a Paladin healer, because it is a prime example of two things Paladins cannot really do well: moving around a lot and keeping a whole group alive under AoE attacks."
|7 reasons to make a Death Knight
Robin Torres may have given us seven reasons to make a Death Knight, but Depo gave us a good reason not to make that Death Knight a Gnome: "My name is Deposition, and I am on a crusade. I will single-handedly, without mind of the current situation or without control of my own actions, murder every Gnome Death Knight I see.
"Your days are numbered."
|Are private servers really that bad?
WI readers had a lot strong opinions about private WoW servers. Are they technically legal? Is playing on private servers justifiable? Is it even fun? "You're forgetting one major issue here: the free trial sucks," scoffed Raaj. "You're making it sound like it gives you even a taste of how the game actually plays out. You can't mail things, you can't trade things, you can't even talk in global chat channels. You're cut off from everything else. If you weren't recruited by a friend, it's likely that you'll barely find another person to even interact with.
"The best analogy I can think of right here is to visit a car dealership, but not be allowed to drive the car, turn on the radio, or use any of the features. You're allowed to sit inside and you have to make your purchase based on that experience."
Is raiding more fun when you figure out the strategy yourself? "It actually kind of baffles me that strategies are so easy to come by for current top-end content these days," mused Mnemnosyne."In the old days of raiding, especially in EverQuest long before WoW, boss strategies tended to be somewhat secret. We wouldn't go so far as to call them closely guarded secrets, but no guild would ever post their strategy or a video showing exactly how they defeated the mobs. Guild members caught sharing the latest strategies were usually disciplined or kicked out.
"This meant we all usually had to learn at least some of each fight on our own, which was not only interesting but made for a wide variety of tactics that one doesn't see much in WoW. Some fights have only a few potential options; others were handled in massively different ways from one guild to the next, since the trailblazers kept their strategies secret except for limited hints.
"This contrasts sharply with the fact that almost every WoW guild I've seen has very, very minor differences in how they handle things to every other one. Who knows how many untested and possibly even superior strategies may exist but never be discovered, because everyone follows the posted strategies of some of the first people to figure things out and rarely deviates from them?"
|FCC commissioner: World of Warcraft causes dropouts
The denizens of [1.Local] spent pages and pages this week dissecting reaction to the claims of the FCC commissioner who dared to breathe the name "World of Warcraft" in a speech pointing the finger at video games as a major contributor to college drop-outs. "I think both Mrs. Tate and some people in these comments oversimplify the issue," observed Gravehound. "I'm a pretty hardcore procrastinator (only a sophomore so it hasn't hurt my grades too much yet), and I use WoW, or my 360, or a book, or a friend, or whatever's at hand to not do work right now.
"This does make me irresponsible, but it doesn't make me a fool, or a reject, or a failure. It's my responsibility to work on fixing this problem, but it's not as if I get up each morning and check box A for procrastinator or box B for perfect student. It's far more complex and difficult than that, as anyone who's struggled with any behavior they want to change knows.
"So let's not blame WoW for people's behavioral problems, but let's not act like because we can manage our time, others are incompetent or inferior if they have more trouble doing so."
|Mount, race restrictions lifted, Tauren rejoice
Yesterday marked the first post for new WI blogger Michael Sacco, known to many as former Blizzard blue poster Belfaire. Welcoming him aboard in his inaugural post was [1.Local] troll Saiforune: "As an official Troll Representative of the WoW Insider Troll Union, I welcome you with open claws into our cave any time. The presence of the blues is most welcome here. Seeing that you were a previous blue with very little problems, I hope I have to never go Troll form in any of your posts."
Welcome to the Troll pit, Michael! I'm sure we'll see plenty more of you here in [1.Local], without a doubt.
Until next week!
Arthas awaits -- and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.